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RNAcentral is a comprehensive database of non-coding RNA (ncRNA) sequences, collating information on ncRNA sequences of all types from a broad range of organisms. We have recently added a new genome mapping pipeline that identifies genomic locations for ncRNA sequences in 296 species. We have also added several new types of functional annotations, such as tRNA secondary structures, Gene Ontology annotations, and miRNA-target interactions. A new quality control mechanism based on Rfam family assignments identifies potential contamination, incomplete sequences, and more. The RNAcentral database has become a vital component of many workflows in the RNA community, serving as both the primary source of sequence data for academic and commercial groups, as well as a source of stable accessions for the annotation of genomic and functional features. These examples are facilitated by an improved RNAcentral web interface, which features an updated genome browser, a new sequence feature viewer, and improved text search functionality. RNAcentral is freely available at


Figure 1.
Figure 1.
A diagram showing the 28 Expert Databases imported into RNAcentral as of September 2018, organised according to their contents. The full list of databases is available at
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
Novel snoRNA Me18S-G1506 (URS0000A59F5E_7227) found in the ENA database that was mapped with 100% sequence identity to the Drosophila melanogaster genome using the new genome mapping pipeline.
Figure 3.
Figure 3.
Example secondary structure of tRNA-Ser-TGA-1-2 from Bacillus subtilis (URS000043457D_1423) visualized using Forna. The nucleotides in the Forna diagram are colored by secondary structure element, with helixes in green, hairpin loops in blue and red otherwise.
Figure 4.
Figure 4.
New section of the sequence report pages showing target proteins for miRNA hsa-miR-612 (URS0000759916_9606). The table provides links to Ensembl genes and TarBase summary pages and shows experimental methods.
Figure 5.
Figure 5.
(A) New text search interface options for filtering sequences by length (bottom) or changing the order of the results (top). (B) Structured snippets in text search results. The string matching the query (‘mir-100’) is highlighted in light-gray. The logos of expert databases annotating the sequence are displayed and additional information about the databases can be viewed on mouse hover. (C) A search result showing a sequence with a quality check failure. Here the red warning symbol indicates the sequence has an error, along with the type of issue detected, incomplete sequence here.
Figure 6.
Figure 6.
New section of the sequence report showing Rfam annotations. In this example, an ENA sequence URS00005B7DD8_9606, originally annotated as miscellaneous RNA (misc_RNA), matches a conserved domain of the MALAT1 Rfam family (RF01871) and MEN beta RNA (RF01684). The locations of the Rfam matches are shown in the feature viewer.
Figure 7.
Figure 7.
RNAcentral visualization of GO annotations for miRNA hsa-mir-126 (URS0000759B6D_9606) that is involved in heart development.

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