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Template:Infobox biodatabase The GenBank sequence database is an open access, annotated collection of all publicly available nucleotide sequences and their protein translations. This database is produced and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) as part of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC). The National Center for Biotechnology Information is a part of the National Institutes of Health in the United States. GenBank and its collaborators receive sequences produced in laboratories throughout the world from more than 100,000 distinct organisms. In the more than 30 years since its establishment, GenBank has become the most important and most influential database for research in almost all biological fields, whose data are accessed and cited by millions of researchers around the world. GenBank continues to grow at an exponential rate, doubling every 18 months.[1][2] Release 194, produced in February 2013, contained over 150 billion nucleotide bases in more than 162 million sequences.[3] GenBank is built by direct submissions from individual laboratories, as well as from bulk submissions from large-scale sequencing centers.


Only original sequences can be submitted to GenBank. Direct submissions are made to GenBank using BankIt, which is a Web-based form, or the stand-alone submission program, Sequin. Upon receipt of a sequence submission, the GenBank staff examines the originality of the data and assigns an accession number to the sequence and performs quality assurance checks. The submissions are then released to the public database, where the entries are retrievable by Entrez or downloadable by FTP. Bulk submissions of Expressed Sequence Tag (EST), Sequence-tagged site (STS), Genome Survey Sequence (GSS), and High-Throughput Genome Sequence (HTGS) data are most often submitted by large-scale sequencing centers. The GenBank direct submissions group also processes complete microbial genome sequences.


Walter Goad of the Theoretical Biology and Biophysics Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory and others established the Los Alamos Sequence Database in 1979, which culminated in 1982 with the creation of the public GenBank.[4] Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense. LANL collaborated on GenBank with the firm Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, and by the end of 1983 more than 2,000 sequences were stored in it.

In the mid 1980s, the Intelligenetics bioinformatics company at Stanford University managed the GenBank project in collaboration with LANL.[5] As one of the earliest bioinformatics community projects on the Internet, the GenBank project started BIOSCI/Bionet news groups for promoting open access communications among bioscientists. During 1989 to 1992, the GenBank project transitioned to the newly created National Center for Biotechnology Information.[6]

File:NucleotideSequences 86 87.jpeg

Genbank and EMBL: NucleotideSequences 1986/1987 Volumes I to VII.


File:Growth of Genbank.svg

Growth in GenBank base pairs, 1982 to 2007, on a semi-log scale

The GenBank release notes for release 162.0 (October 2007) state that "from 1982 to the present, the number of bases in GenBank has doubled approximately every 18 months".[3] [7]

As of 8 2013 (2013 -Template:MONTHNUMBER-08)Template:Dated maintenance category, GenBank release 196.0 has 165,740,164 loci, 152,599,230,112 bases, from 165,740,164 reported sequences.[3]

The GenBank database includes additional data sets that are constructed mechanically from the main sequence data collection, and therefore are excluded from this count.

Top organisms in GenBank (Release 191)[8]
Organism base pairs
Homo sapiens Template:Nts
Mus musculus Template:Nts
Rattus norvegicus Template:Nts
Bos taurus Template:Nts
Zea mays Template:Nts
Sus scrofa Template:Nts
Danio rerio Template:Nts
Strongylocentrotus purpuratus Template:Nts
Macaca mulatta Template:Nts
Oryza sativa Japonica Group Template:Nts
Nicotiana tabacum Template:Nts
Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis Template:Nts
Drosophila melanogaster Template:Nts
Pan troglodytes Template:Nts
Arabidopsis thaliana Template:Nts
Canis lupus familiaris Template:Nts
Vitis vinifera Template:Nts
Gallus gallus Template:Nts
Glycine max Template:Nts
Triticum aestivum Template:Nts

See also[]


  1. Benson D, et al. (2008). GenBank. Nucleic Acids Research 36 (Database): D25–D30.
  2. Benson D, et al. (2009). GenBank. Nucleic Acids Research 37 (Database): D26–D31.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 GenBank release notes. NCBI.
  4. Hanson, Todd Walter Goad, GenBank founder, dies. Newsbulletin: obituary. Los Alamos National Laboratory.
  5. LANL GenBank History
  6. Benton D (1990). Recent changes in the GenBank On-line Service. Nucleic Acids Research 18 (6): 1517–1520.
  7. PMID 23193287 (PMID 23193287)
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  8. Benson DA, Karsch-Mizrachi I, Lipman DJ, Ostell J, Sayers EW (January 2011). GenBank. Nucleic Acids Res. 39 (Database issue): D32–37.
  • Template:NCBI-handbook

External links[]

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