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  European Commission, the British Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Wellcome Trust (WT). Current external grants are:

  • COMPARE (EC Horizon2020: 643476)
  • EMBRIC (EC Horizon2020: 654008)
  • ELIXIR-EXCELERATE (EC Horizon2020: 676559)
  • UniEuk (Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation)
  • ENVRI+ (EC Horizon2020: 654182)
  • EBI Metagenomics Portal II (BBSRC BBR: BB/M011755/1)
  • ONT Analysis Software (Oxford Nanopore Technologies)
  • Genome Campus Alliance, GA4GH (WT)