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.

arb-7.0 has been released_

7 years after arb6 we have released a new major version: arb7
Read more in the MPI press release.

Ribosomal RNA Database_

Manually curated and quality checked datasets for ribosomal RNA genes are available for the scientific community.

The SILVA rRNA database project maintains and 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).

The All-Species Living Tree Project (LTP) provides a highly curated database of all available 16S rRNA gene sequences of type strains of Bacteria and Archaea. It reconstructs the most robust phylogenies using an universal alignment implemented in ARB.

Other databases are listed in the ARB-Wiki.


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 |FULLTEXT |PDF]