Training in Sequence Analysis

Ribocon has a strong history of providing training in DNA sequence analysis with a focus on microbial identification, phyolgeny, and biodiversity analysis. Since the year 2005, more than 600 international participants have been taught by our experts in regular annual courses and customized on-site workshops all over the world. Several training units were also provided for projects of the European Commission.

See below for more detailed information on the course formats we offer.

For any questions or enquiries related to our training portfolio, please contact

For professionals working in the field of DNA sequence-based identification of microorganisms (e.g. quality control, clinical diagnostics), we offer customized workshops and training courses to deepen the understanding of the workflows and tools.

These courses are offered on request in different formats and are tailored to your specific interests and requirements. Besides a pure training focus, they can also have a more consulting-like character to elaborate existing shortcomings of your processes and to highlight potential improvements and alternatives.

Typical topics are:

  • public sequence repositories and other data references
  • principles of sequence data analysis
  • microbial systematics, taxonomy, and the species concept
  • shortcomings and pitfalls of all these aspects
  • options and best practices for your specific requirements

You can send your trainees to Bremen, or the course is done by one of our teachers on-site which usually is the more cost-efficient solution.

Please contact us for more information at

Since more than a decade Ribocon offers an annual 4-day training course on rRNA gene sequence analysis in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Marine Microbiology. It takes place in Bremen, Germany, and is open for users from all over the world (academia and industrial research).

To get instantly informed about the official announcement and opening of registration, follow us on Twitter or contact us at (we will then add you to our corresponding mailing list).

Initially, the course focused on rRNA-based phylogenetic sequence analysis using the ARB software package (see below), including both the theoretical background and technical aspects such as Linux-based ARB installation. Later, with the start of the SILVA database project, workflow integration of the SILVA web resource was added (the official ARB/SILVA courses). Now, with the emerging next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, the workshop shifts towards the complete workflow of biodiversity analysis, from initial experimental design to final preparation of a manuscript, based on the corresponding SILVA tools (SILVAngs).

For more information about the current course and its status, please refer to the extra boxes 'Upcoming Training Course' and 'General Information'.

Since more than a decade, Ribocon is offering the official training courses of the ARB/SILVA project.

Currently, ARB training is provided only on request (customized workshops for laboratories, research groups, and companies interested), both on-site and at Ribocon. See below for more information and contact us for costs and how we can support you best.

ARB (latin, "arbor" = tree) is a free, fully-integrated software package for the storage, organization, and analysis (classification, phylogeny, probe design/evaluation) of ribosomal rRNA gene sequences and other molecular markers.
It is under continuous development since 1992, initiated at the Technical University of Munich under the supervision of Dr. Wolfgang Ludwig. With more than 4,700 citations (status as of August 2016) of the original paper (Nucleic Acids Research, 2004, 32(4):1363-1371) and thousands of users worldwide, ARB represents one of the "blockbusters" among the scientific software tools.
Originally, the ARB project has also maintained and provided high-quality rRNA gene reference data sets. This task was taken over in 2007 by the SILVA databases (, turning the ARB project into the ARB/SILVA project.
For more information, please visit the official ARB webpage at
Based on our origin (see 'Company') we have a strong relation to the ARB project and can look back on a fruitful collaboration of more than a decade.
Because of our in-depth experience with the software, we took over the responsibility to offer the official training courses of the project in 2005. At this time there was also a strong demand for this service which could not be fulfilled within the academic ARB environment anymore.
In 2007, the maintenance of the rRNA gene reference databases offered by the ARB project was taken over by SILVA, a project Ribocon is actively involved in.
Meanwhile, Ribocon actively participates in the maintenance and enhancement of the ARB software. This means, there should not be any question related to ARB we are finally not able to answer - if there is an answer.
The ARB training courses are typically divided into lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on experiences.

In the theoretical parts we provide background information on e.g. the public sequence repositories and data quality (ARB input data), discuss shortcomings of microbial systematics, and introduce you to the mystery of phylogenetic sequence analysis. In the practical parts we will show you how to efficiently work with ARB, how to handle and process your data in a reasonable way, and also how to interpret and prepare/finalize phylogenetic trees best. Also, ARB installation/administration and basics of Linux are covered if in your interest. However, during planning of such a customized course in any case we will ask you for your main requirements and adapt the focus, accordingly.

Teaching ARB in less than 2,5 to 3 complete days does not really makes sense (except you are a group of already experienced users and only need to fill up some final gaps) which therefore is the recommended course length.

To host an on-site course there is nothing specifically required from your side - only a course/seminar room, a projector for the teacher, and a computer (desktop/laptop) for each participant. No existing ARB environment or installation is necessary, we anyway prefer to provide pre-installed Linux/ARB system images in advance which can be applied on any computer without altering the existing system (if you are open to install the free VirtualBox environment on these computers).

Upcoming Regular Training Course:

From Primer to Paper: Training in Biodiversity Analysis using NGS Amplicon Data

Bremen, Nov 6-10, 2017

Details & Application

General Information: