The ARB (from Latin arbor, tree) project was initiated almost 10 years ago. The ARB program package comprises a variety of directly interacting software tools for sequence database maintenance and analysis which are controlled by a common graphical user interface. Although it was initially designed for ribosomal RNA data, it can be used for any nucleic and amino acid sequence data as well. A central database contains processed (aligned) primary structure data. Any additional descriptive data can be stored in database fields assigned to the individual sequences or linked via local or worldwide networks. A phylogenetic tree visualized in the main window can be used for data access and visualization. The package comprises additional tools for data import and export, sequence alignment, primary and secondary structure editing, profile and filter calculation, phylogenetic analyses, specific hybridization probe design and evaluation and other components for data analysis. Currently, the package is used by numerous working groups worldwide.