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Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Jan;42(Database issue):D643-8. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt1209. Epub 2013 Nov 28.

The SILVA and "All-species Living Tree Project (LTP)" taxonomic frameworks.

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Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, D-28359 Bremen, Germany, Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z4, Canada, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z4, Canada, Ribocon GmbH, D-28359 Bremen, Germany, School of Engineering and Science, Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH, D-28759 Bremen, Germany and Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, Technische Universität München, D-853530 Freising, Germany.


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.

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