Database Commons

a catalog of biological databases

e.g., animal; RNA; Methylation; China

Database Profile

General information

Full name: High quality ribosomal RNA databases
Description: SILVA is a comprehensive, quality-controlled web resource for up-to-date aligned ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences from the Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryota domains alongside supplementary online services. In addition to data products, SILVA provides various online tools such as alignment and classification, phylogenetic tree calculation and viewer, probe/primer matching, and an amplicon analysis pipeline. With every full release a curated guide tree is provided that contains the latest taxonomy and nomenclature based on multiple references. SILVA is an ELIXIR Core Data Resource.
Year founded: 2007
Last update: 2020-08-27
Version: v138.1
Real time : Checking...
Country/Region: Germany
Data type:
Data object:
Database category:
Major organism:

Contact information

University/Institution: Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology and Jacobs University
Address: D-28359 Bremen,Germany
City: Bremen
Country/Region: Germany
Contact name (PI/Team): Frank Oliver Glöckner
Contact email (PI/Helpdesk):


25 years of serving the community with ribosomal RNA gene reference databases and tools. [PMID: 28648396]
Glöckner FO, Yilmaz P, Quast C, Gerken J, Beccati A, Ciuprina A, Bruns G, Yarza P, Peplies J, Westram R, Ludwig W.

SILVA (lat. forest) is a comprehensive web resource, providing services around up to date, high-quality datasets of aligned ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) sequences from the Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryota domains. SILVA dates back to the year 1991 when Dr. Wolfgang Ludwig from the Technical University Munich started the integrated software workbench ARB (lat. tree) to support high-quality phylogenetic inference and taxonomy based on the SSU and LSU rDNA marker genes. At that time, the ARB project maintained both, the sequence reference datasets and the software package for data analysis. In 2005, with the massive increase of DNA sequence data, the maintenance of the software system ARB and the corresponding rRNA databases SILVA was split between Munich and the Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Group in Bremen. ARB has been continuously developed to include new features and improve the usability of the workbench. Thousands of users worldwide appreciate the seamless integration of common analysis tools under a central graphical user interface, in combination with its versatility. The first SILVA release was deployed in February 2007 based on the EMBL-EBI/ENA release 89. Since then, full SILVA releases offering the database content in various flavours are published at least annually, complemented by intermediate web-releases where only the SILVA web dataset is updated. SILVA is the only rDNA database project worldwide where special emphasis is given to the consistent naming of clades of uncultivated (environmental) sequences, where no validly described cultivated representatives are available. Also exclusive for SILVA is the maintenance of both comprehensive aligned 16S/18S rDNA and 23S/28S rDNA sequence datasets. Furthermore, the SILVA alignments and trees were designed to include Eukaryota, another unique feature among rDNA databases. With the termination of the European Ribosomal RNA Database Project in 2007, the SILVA database has become the authoritative rDNA database project for Europe. The application spectrum of ARB and SILVA ranges from biodiversity analysis, medical diagnostics, to biotechnology and quality control for academia and industry.

J Biotechnol. 2017:261() | 129 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-11-27)
The SILVA and "All-species Living Tree Project (LTP)" taxonomic frameworks. [PMID: 24293649]
Yilmaz P, Parfrey LW, Yarza P, Gerken J, Pruesse E, Quast C, Schweer T, Peplies J, Ludwig W, Glöckner FO.

SILVA (from Latin silva, forest, is a comprehensive resource for up-to-date quality-controlled databases of aligned ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences from the Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryota domains and supplementary online services. SILVA provides a manually curated taxonomy for all three domains of life, based on representative phylogenetic trees for the small- and large-subunit rRNA genes. This article describes the improvements the SILVA taxonomy has undergone in the last 3 years. Specifically we are focusing on the curation process, the various resources used for curation and the comparison of the SILVA taxonomy with Greengenes and RDP-II taxonomies. Our comparisons not only revealed a reasonable overlap between the taxa names, but also points to significant differences in both names and numbers of taxa between the three resources.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2014:42(Database issue) | 614 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-11-27)
The SILVA ribosomal RNA gene database project: improved data processing and web-based tools. [PMID: 23193283]
Quast C, Pruesse E, Yilmaz P, Gerken J, Schweer T, Yarza P, Peplies J, Glöckner FO.

SILVA (from Latin silva, forest, is a comprehensive web resource for up to date, quality-controlled databases of aligned ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences from the Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryota domains and supplementary online services. The referred database release 111 (July 2012) contains 3 194 778 small subunit and 288 717 large subunit rRNA gene sequences. Since the initial description of the project, substantial new features have been introduced, including advanced quality control procedures, an improved rRNA gene aligner, online tools for probe and primer evaluation and optimized browsing, searching and downloading on the website. Furthermore, the extensively curated SILVA taxonomy and the new non-redundant SILVA datasets provide an ideal reference for high-throughput classification of data from next-generation sequencing approaches.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2013:41(Database issue) | 5503 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-11-27)
SILVA: a comprehensive online resource for quality checked and aligned ribosomal RNA sequence data compatible with ARB. [PMID: 17947321]
Pruesse E, Quast C, Knittel K, Fuchs BM, Ludwig W, Peplies J, Glöckner FO.

Sequencing ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes is currently the method of choice for phylogenetic reconstruction, nucleic acid based detection and quantification of microbial diversity. The ARB software suite with its corresponding rRNA datasets has been accepted by researchers worldwide as a standard tool for large scale rRNA analysis. However, the rapid increase of publicly available rRNA sequence data has recently hampered the maintenance of comprehensive and curated rRNA knowledge databases. A new system, SILVA (from Latin silva, forest), was implemented to provide a central comprehensive web resource for up to date, quality controlled databases of aligned rRNA sequences from the Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya domains. All sequences are checked for anomalies, carry a rich set of sequence associated contextual information, have multiple taxonomic classifications, and the latest validly described nomenclature. Furthermore, two precompiled sequence datasets compatible with ARB are offered for download on the SILVA website: (i) the reference (Ref) datasets, comprising only high quality, nearly full length sequences suitable for in-depth phylogenetic analysis and probe design and (ii) the comprehensive Parc datasets with all publicly available rRNA sequences longer than 300 nucleotides suitable for biodiversity analyses. The latest publicly available database release 91 (August 2007) hosts 547 521 sequences split into 461 823 small subunit and 85 689 large subunit rRNAs.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2007:35(21) | 2915 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-11-27)


All databases:
13/5114 (99.765%)
Gene genome and annotation:
7/1358 (99.558%)
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Record metadata

Created on: 2015-06-20
Curated by:
lin liu [2021-03-28]
Lina Ma [2018-10-19]
Lina Ma [2018-06-07]
Lin Xia [2016-03-28]
Zhang Zhang [2016-01-29]
Jian Sang [2015-07-01]
Lin Xia [2015-06-28]