The rapidly increasing number of available rRNA sequence data and the growing importance of rRNA based identification systems as well as the missing of an integrated package of cooperating software tools for data handling and analysis led us to establish an interdisciplinary bioinformatics group.

The ARB project (latin, "arbor"=tree) was started as a joint initiative of the Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie and the LRR of the Technische Universität München in 1992.

Since 2014 the ARB project is continued by the Department of Molecular Ecology at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen in cooperation with Ribocon GmbH.

The ARB software is a graphically oriented package comprising various tools for sequence database handling and data analysis. A central database of processed (aligned) sequences and any type of additional data linked to the respective sequence entries is structured according to phylogeny or other user defined criteria. Take a look at some features. To get a quick impression, see how we presented ARB on several conferences.

The entire software along with the databases can be used by scientific community for free. See Copyrights for details.

Ribosomal RNA Database_

Manually curated and quality checked datasets for ribosomal RNA genes are available for the scientific community. These datasets are maintained in collaboration with "arb-silva" project and can be obtained from ARB Silva Database site.


Wolfgang Ludwig, Oliver Strunk, Ralf Westram, Lothar Richter, Harald Meier, Yadhukumar, Arno Buchner, Tina Lai, Susanne Steppi, Gangolf Jobb, Wolfram Förster, Igor Brettske, Stefan Gerber, Anton W. Ginhart, Oliver Gross, Silke Grumann, Stefan Hermann, Ralf Jost, Andreas König, Thomas Liss, Ralph Lüßmann, Michael May, Björn Nonhoff, Boris Reichel, Robert Strehlow, Alexandros Stamatakis, Norbert Stuckmann, Alexander Vilbig, Michael Lenke, Thomas Ludwig, Arndt Bode and Karl-Heinz Schleifer. ARB: a software environment for sequence data. Nucleic Acids Research. 2004. 32(4):1363-1371. [ABSTRACT |PDF]