The pineal hormone melatonin elicits potent circadian and reproductive effects in mammals. We report the chromosomal location of the gene for the Mel1a-melatonin receptor that likely mediates these circadian and reproductive actions. PCR analysis of human-rodent somatic cell hybrids showed that the receptor gene (MTNR1A) maps to human chromosome 4q35.1. An interspecific backcross analysis revealed that the mouse gene (Mtnr1a) maps to the proximal portion of chromosome 8. These loci may be involved in genetically based circadian and neuroendocrine disorders.