Maternal isodisomy for chromosome 7 was observed in a 4-year-old cystic fibrosis patient with very short stature. In an examination of 11 DNA polymorphisms spanning the entire length of chromosome 7, no paternal contribution could be shown in seven informative loci. Paternity was examined with probes for five polymorphic loci on the Y chromosome, for the pseudo beta-globin locus on chromosome 11 and by Jeffreys's hypervariable probes. The results with the latter gave a probability of 3.7 x 10(-9) for nonpaternity. Chromosomal examination revealed a centromeric heteromorphism of chromosome 7 in the mother, for which the proband was homozygous. Isodisomy of the patient was thus shown for the entire length of a maternal chromosome 7. The mechanisms leading to this isodisomy involve at least two events of abnormal cell division, events that may be meiotic, postzygotic, or both. This proband is the second reported maternal isodisomy; both were detected through homozygosity for CF. Both patients had short stature, which could have been caused by parental imprinting, since similar results have been observed in isodisomic mice. Homozygosity due to uniparental descent in man should be kept in mind as a mechanism for recessive disorders, especially for chromosome 7.