de.NBI Logo


Welcome to the SILVA rRNA database project

A comprehensive on-line resource for quality checked and aligned ribosomal RNA sequence data.

SILVA provides comprehensive, quality checked and regularly updated datasets of aligned small (16S/18S, SSU) and large subunit (23S/28S, LSU) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequences for all three domains of life (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya).

SILVA are the official databases of the software package ARB.

For more background information Opens internal link in current windowClick here



Check out our service for Next Generation Amplicon data

SILVA Alignment, Classification and Tree (ACT) Service


The SILVA ACT service combines alignment, search and classify as well as reconstruction of trees in a single web application.

SILVA ACT is available at: Opens internal link in current

SILVA Tree Viewer


The SILVA Tree Viewer is a web application to browse and query the SILVA guide trees.

A technical preview is available at Opens external link in new



The software package ARB represents a graphically-oriented, fully-integrated package of cooperating software tools for handling and analysis of sequence information.

The ARB project has been started almost 30 years ago by Wolfgang Ludwig at the Technical University in Munich, Germany, see Opens external link in new



SILVA is a member of the Opens external link in new windowUniEuk project, a community-based project to achieve a universal taxonomic framework for Eukaryotes, focused primarily on protists. UniEuk is integrating information from relevant genetic markers and classical morphology-based data, validated by a comprehensive network of taxonomy experts.

SILVA Terms of Use/License Information

As of release 138 the SILVA databases, its taxonomy, and all files provided for download are licensed unter Opens external link in new windowCreate Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0).

All data is freely available for academic and commercial use as long as SILVA is credited as original author and a link to the full license is provided.

Releases before SILVA 138 are not affected by the new license. Please refer to the license file provided in each download directory for the license associated with the provided files.



SILVA Release 138.2

The SILVA taxonomy release 138.2 is a maintenance release, with no additional sequences added to the ARB databases since the previous release 138.1. In this update we have focused on Prokaryotes.


SILVA named Global Core Biodata Resource (GCBR)

SILVA is one of fifteen biodata resources worldwide that have been selected in the Global Biodata Coalition's 2023 selection round for Global Core Biodata Resources (GCBRs), increasing the total number of GCBRs to 52. SILVA joins its DSMZ sister databases BacDive and BRENDA (both selected in 2022) as well as LPSN (2023) as GCBR.


We are hiring!

SILVA is looking for computer scientists as backend and web developer. Our colleagues from the DSMZ Digital Diversity integration team are also hiring for multiple positions. Find all open positions in our teams here.


We need you!

Open Jobs@SILVA! Become now part of the SILVA-team! Scientist Molecular Taxonomy, Softwaredeveloper backend Maven/Spring Boot, Softwaredeveloper Web

User satisfaction survey


SILVA is now part of the German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure de.NBI

To evaluate and improve our quality of service we need your feedback. Please help us by participating in this short Opens external link in new windowsurvey.

SILVA SSU 138.2 update release

Ref NR 99
Ref NR 99
Minimal length   300 1200/900 300 1900
Quality filtering   basic strong basic strong
Guide Tree   no yes no yes
Release date   11.07.24 11.07.24 11.07.24 11.07.24
Aligned rRNA sequences   9,469,070 510,495 1,312,521 95,279



Quast C, Pruesse E, Yilmaz P, Gerken J, Schweer T, Yarza P, Peplies J, Glöckner FO (2013) The SILVA ribosomal RNA gene database project: improved data processing and web-based tools. Opens external link in new windowNucl. Acids Res. 41 (D1): D590-D596.

For the taxonomic framework:

Yilmaz P, Parfrey LW, Yarza P, Gerken J, Pruesse E, Quast C, Schweer T, Peplies J, Ludwig W, Glöckner FO (2014) The SILVA and "All-species Living Tree Project (LTP)" taxonomic frameworks. Opens external link in new windowNucl. Acids Res. 42:D643-D648

Opens internal link in current windowFurther references


  • Subscribe to our RSS Feed to get the latest News.