Nonsyndromic orofacial cleft (NSOFC) is a severe birth defect that occurs early in embryonic development and includes the subtypes cleft palate only (CPO), cleft lip only (CLO) and cleft lip with cleft palate (CLP). Given a lack of specific genetic factor analysis for CPO and CLO, the present study aimed to dissect the landscape of genetic factors underlying the pathogenesis of these two subtypes using 6,986 cases and 10,165 controls. By combining a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for specific subtypes of CPO and CLO, as well as functional gene network and ontology pathway analysis, we identified 18 genes/loci that surpassed genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10-8) responsible for NSOFC, including nine for CPO, seven for CLO, two for both conditions and four that contribute to the CLP subtype. Among these 18 genes/loci, 14 are novel and identified in this study and 12 contain developmental transcription factors (TFs), suggesting that TFs are the key factors for the pathogenesis of NSOFC subtypes. Interestingly, we observed an opposite effect of the genetic variants in the IRF6 gene for CPO and CLO. Moreover, the gene expression dosage effect of IRF6 with two different alleles at the same single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) plays important roles in driving CPO or CLO. In addition, PAX9 is a key TF for CPO. Our findings define subtypes of NSOFC using genetic factors and their functional ontologies and provide a clue to improve their diagnosis and treatment in the future.