About the European Nucleotide Archive

The European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) captures and presents information relating to experimental workflows that are based around nucleotide sequencing. A typical workflow includes the isolation and preparation of material for sequencing, a run of a sequencing machine in which sequencing data are produced and a subsequent bioinformatic analysis pipeline. ENA records this information in a data model that covers input information (sample, experimental setup, machine configuration), output machine data (sequence traces, reads and quality scores) and interpreted information (assembly, mapping, functional annotation).

Data arrive at ENA from a variety of sources. These include submissions of raw data, assembled sequences and annotation from small-scale sequencing efforts, data provision from the major European sequencing centres and routine and comprehensive exchange with our partners in the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC).

Provision of nucleotide sequence data to ENA or its INSDC partners has become a central and mandatory step in the dissemination of research findings to the scientific community. ENA works with publishers of scientific literature and funding bodies to ensure compliance with these principles and to provide optimal submission systems and data access tools that work seamlessly with the published literature.

ENA is made up of a number of distinct classes of data organised into three tiers. Each class has its own data formats and standards. ENA data classes and formats are described here.

Although the ENA has almost 30 years of history, the data and services are constantly changing to reflect growing volumes of data, ever improving sequencing technology and the broadening of applications to which sequencing is now put. Latest developments and changes to services are announced here and users are encourage to join the ENA mailing list (see here).

As part of the global effort to improve access to and usability of nucleotide sequencing data, we collaborate extensively in the development of our services and technologies and in standards activities.

The ENA is developed and maintained at the EMBL-EBI under the guidance of the INSDC International Advisory Committee and a Scientific Advisory Board.

 Search & Browse

ENA data can be searched interactively and programmatically using free text and sequence similiary search based queries ... more information.

 Submit & Update

ENA supports submissions and updates through a number of web and programmatic routes ... more information.

Please contact us for further information.

Mailing list

All users are encouraged to subscribe to the ena-announce mailing list.


ENA is developed and operated under the support of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and through grants from external bodies that include the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission (EC-FP7), the British Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Wellcome Trust (WT). Current external grants are:

Latest ENA news

01 Jul 2015: ENA release 124
Release 124 of ENA's assembled/annotated sequences now available

20 Jun 2015: Sample Checklist Updates - June 2015
ENA are planning to update several sample metadata reporting checklists. Some of these changes have been carried out for harmonisation of attributes/fields between various checklist. Other changes were made to allow a standardised missing/null value reporting. All changes will come into effect as of 3rd August 2015.

03 Jun 2015: Changes to read data submission services 1st of October 2015
ENA will make a number of changes to submission services for raw sequence read data on first of October 2015. We continue to track an ever evolving landscape of available and preferred formats and introduce these changes with a view to overall simplification of the submission system to allow us to provide a more efficient service with faster turnaround.