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Nat Commun. 2016 Feb 2;7:10448. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10448.

GWAS of 89,283 individuals identifies genetic variants associated with self-reporting of being a morning person.

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23andMe, Inc., 899 W Evelyn Avenue, Mountain View, California 94043 USA.
Department of Biological Sciences, San Jose State University, San Jose, California 95112 USA.


Circadian rhythms are a nearly universal feature of living organisms and affect almost every biological process. Our innate preference for mornings or evenings is determined by the phase of our circadian rhythms. We conduct a genome-wide association analysis of self-reported morningness, followed by analyses of biological pathways and related phenotypes. We identify 15 significantly associated loci, including seven near established circadian genes (rs12736689 near RGS16, P=7.0 × 10(-18); rs9479402 near VIP, P=3.9 × 10(-11); rs55694368 near PER2, P=2.6 × 10(-9); rs35833281 near HCRTR2, P=3.7 × 10(-9); rs11545787 near RASD1, P=1.4 × 10(-8); rs11121022 near PER3, P=2.0 × 10(-8); rs9565309 near FBXL3, P=3.5 × 10(-8). Circadian and phototransduction pathways are enriched in our results. Morningness is associated with insomnia and other sleep phenotypes; and is associated with body mass index and depression but we did not find evidence for a causal relationship in our Mendelian randomization analysis. Our findings reinforce current understanding of circadian biology and will guide future studies.

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