Download high-quality graphics from the NCBI Multiple Sequence Alignment Viewer (MSAV)

You can now download a publication-quality graphic images of  the alignment displayed in the NCBI Multiple Sequence Alignment Viewer (Figure 1). Load sequence alignments into the viewer from BLAST or COBALT results or upload alignment files directly. Once you have the the alignment set in the viewer, choose the “Printer-friendly PDF/SVG” option in the Download menu on the toolbar to save the image. The PDF and SVG files contain vector graphics suitable for presentation and publication. MSA_downloadFigure 1. The image download options in the MSAV. You can adjust the desired coordinate range and choose to download a PDF or SVG image. You can also preview the PDF download . Choose simplified color shading to improve compatibility with some graphics programs.

The downloaded image will show the coordinate range you requested and will include all the rows in the alignment.

Please contact us through the Feedback link on the MSA Viewer or write to the NCBI Help Desk to provide feedback and let us know how we can make the NCBI Multiple Sequence Viewer work better for you.

RefSeq release 200 is public

RefSeq release 200 is accessible online, via FTP and through NCBI’s Entrez programming utilities, E-utilities.

This full release incorporates genomic, transcript, and protein data available as of May 4, 2020, and contains 237,381,664 records, including 171,643,729 proteins, 31,244,247 RNAs, and sequences from 100,605 organisms. The release is provided in several directories as a complete dataset and also as divided by logical groupings.

Other announcements:

The number of organisms in RefSeq crosses 100,000!
The current RefSeq release contains 100,605 distinct species or taxons, with a net increase of 763 species since Release 99. This milestone coincides with the 100th release though the current release number is 200 (see below). Note that there is a decrease in the number of species for prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) due to a clean-up that mainly removed unclassified bacteria, and assemblies from Metagenome-Assembled Genomes (MAGs).

The FTP release number has skipped to 200
As previously announced, NCBI’s Reference Sequence (RefSeq) FTP release number has incremented to 200 for this release, and skipped over the numbers 100-199. The previous, March 2020 release, was release 99. This change is to avoid overlapping with the release numbers of the independently numbered RefSeq annotation releases for the eukaryotic genomes we annotate, which are currently in the range 100-109, for example Mus musculus Annotation Release 108.

NCBI Protein Families
A new release of the NCBI protein families profiles used by PGAP (the Prokaryotic Genome Annotation Pipeline) is now available. You can search this collection of Hidden Markov models (HMM) against your favorite prokaryotic proteins to identify their function using hmmer.

Recalculation of Prokaryotic Reference and Representative Genome Assemblies
We have updated the collection of reference and representative assemblies for Bacteria and Archaea to better reflect the taxonomic breadth of the prokaryotes in RefSeq. We have selected one reference or representative assembly for every species based on several criteria including contiguity, completeness, and whether the assembly is from type material.

Future change: Mouse Reference Assembly Update
A full assembly update for the mouse GRCm38.p6 reference assembly is expected to be released in 2020 by the GRC. We anticipate updating the mouse RefSeq annotation to the new GRCm39 assembly this summer, for either RefSeq FTP Release 201 or 202.


The next RefSeq FTP release number will skip to 200

NCBI’s Reference Sequence (RefSeq) FTP release numbers will increment to 200 for the next release and skip over the numbers 100-199. The current, March 2020 release, is release 99. The next bi-monthly release in May 2020 will be release 200.  This change is to avoid overlapping with the release numbers of the completely independent RefSeq annotation releases for the eukaryotic genomes we annotate, which are currently in the range 100-109, for example Mus musculus Annotation Release 108. Continue reading

RefSeq Release 99 is public

RefSeq release 99 is accessible online, via FTP and through NCBI’s Entrez programming utilities, E-utilities.

This full release incorporates genomic, transcript, and protein data available as of March 2, 2020, and contains 231,402,293 records, including 167,278,920 proteins, 29,869,155 RNAs, and sequences from 99,842 organisms. The release is provided in several directories as a complete dataset and also as divided by logical groupings.

Other announcements: Continue reading

Improving the Display of Type Material in the NCBI TaxBrowser

Have you ever been confused by multiple taxonomic names for a single organism? You’re not alone! It’s one of the challenges in maintaining any biological database. Recently we updated the NCBI TaxBrowser to assist with this.

Let’s start with a brief word about how investigators name species in the first place. For any new species, the reporting author declares a “type.” They then deposit a specimen, or “type material,” in a publicly available biorepository. This type material is tied to the new species name and serves as a reference for future comparisons. Researchers can then use DNA sequences obtained from type material to identify other samples from the same species. NCBI currently uses such an approach to verify the taxonomic assignment of prokaryotic genomes.

Our Taxonomy group has been curating type material records in the Taxonomy database since 2013 using a common vocabulary accepted by our international partners (the INSDC). For example, the Entrez query “type material[prop]” in the Taxonomy database will return all type material at NCBI.

So what are the improvements to the TaxBrowser?

Continue reading

Novel coronavirus complete genome from the Wuhan outbreak now available in GenBank


Get rapid access to Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) sequence data from the current outbreak as it becomes available. We will continue to update the page with newly released data.

The complete annotated genome sequence of the novel coronavirus associated with the outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, China is now available from GenBank for free and easy access by the global biomedical community. Figure 1 shows the relationship of the Wuhan virus to selected coronaviruses.


Figure 1.  Phylogenetic tree showing the relationship of Wuhan-Hu-1 (circled in red) to selected coronaviruses. Nucleotide alignment was done with MUSCLE 3.8. The phylogenetic tree was estimated with MrBayes 3.2.6 with parameters for GTR+g+i.  The scale bar indicates estimated substitutions per site, and all branch support values are 99.3% or higher.

Continue reading

NCBI on YouTube: new videos on PubMed, My Bibliography, sequence data and more

Here are the latest videos on our YouTube channel. Subscribe to get alerts for new videos.

Introducing the Genome Submission Wizard in Genome Workbench v3.0

Genome Workbench version 3 is a major upgrade, including the addition of the Genome Submission Wizard. This video guides you through the wizard, from uploading your genome data file to completion of the submitter report, which is ready to submit to GenBank using tools such as Submission Portal or BankIt. Note: An on-line tutorial is under “Manuals” on the Genome Workbench home page.

Continue reading

Vector graphics downloads now available in NCBI genome browsers and sequence views

You can now download images in both PDF and Scaled Vector Graphics (SVG) formats from our Sequence Viewer and genome browsers such as the Genome Data Viewer!  SVG files are ideal for editing in image editors and provide high quality graphics for publications, posters, and presentations. Both the PDF and SVG files that you download contain vector graphics for high fidelity images.

You can download image files by choosing the “Printer-Friendly PDF/SVG” option under the Tools menu from any Graphical Sequence Viewer application (Figure 1).

SVG_GDVFigure 1. Printer friendly download options from the graphical view in the Genome Data Viewer.  You can download either PDF or SVG formats, which are easily edited in standard graphics applications. 


New search helps you find prokaryotic proteins

The latest improvement in the NCBI search experience is designed to help you quickly find microbial proteins. Now when you search for a prokaryotic protein name such as recombinase RecA in NCBI’s sequence databases or in the All databases search, a high-quality representative protein sequence is highlighted in a panel at the top of the results page (Figure 1).

The result panel also allows you to quickly link to related resources such as NCBI’s new pages for protein family models, Identical Protein Groups, and SPARCLE, NCBI’s protein domain architecture resource. We also provide as-you-type suggestions so you don’t have to type out some of the long names.


Figure 1.  The result for a search with recombinase RecA. The panel provides access to analysis tools, downloads, and relevant links to the protein family, the RefSeq protein, the identical protein group, and citations in PubMed.

Try these protein name searches, or your own, and use the as-you-type suggestions to assist your searches.

Please let us know how you like these results!

New results for organelle genome searches

As part of our ongoing effort to improve your search experience, we’ve made it easier for you to find the sequence of your favorite organelle genome plus all the information and data associated with it. To find organelle genomes, search for an organism name combined with an organelle description, for example human mitochondriontomato chloroplast or Toxoplasma gondii RH apicoplast.

A new results panel will appear with links to the organelle genome sequence, annotated genes, and related phylogenetic and population studies. The panel appears with these searches in an All Databases search or within any of NCBI’s sequence databases including Gene, Nucleotide, Protein, Genome, Assembly.  For the human mitochondrial genome, a graphical schematic of the genome allows you to navigate to individual mitochondrial encoded genes (Figure 1).


Figure 1.  The organelle genome results for a search with human mitochondrion. The panel provides access to analysis tools, downloads, and other relevant results. Clicking any of the gene objects on the genome graphic links leads to the relevant Gene record, for example Gene ID: 4512 in the case of COX1.

Try it out using the following example searches and  let us know what you think!