NCBI Reference Sequences (RefSeq): current status, new features and genome annotation policy

Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Jan;40(Database issue):D130-5. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr1079. Epub 2011 Nov 24.


The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Reference Sequence (RefSeq) database is a collection of genomic, transcript and protein sequence records. These records are selected and curated from public sequence archives and represent a significant reduction in redundancy compared to the volume of data archived by the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration. The database includes over 16,00 organisms, 2.4 × 0(6) genomic records, 13 × 10(6) proteins and 2 × 10(6) RNA records spanning prokaryotes, eukaryotes and viruses (RefSeq release 49, September 2011). The RefSeq database is maintained by a combined approach of automated analyses, collaboration and manual curation to generate an up-to-date representation of the sequence, its features, names and cross-links to related sources of information. We report here on recent growth, the status of curating the human RefSeq data set, more extensive feature annotation and current policy for eukaryotic genome annotation via the NCBI annotation pipeline. More information about the resource is available online (see

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Genomics / standards
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation*
  • Reference Standards
  • Sequence Analysis / standards*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / standards
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein / standards
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA / standards