Thirty-four families with a child or fetus with Turner's syndrome were studied using a series of polymorphic DNA probes. Analysis of the origin of the normal X chromosome was possible in all cases. In 16 families with 45,X (four fetuses and 12 livebirths), the observed X was maternal in each case, indicating a preferential loss of the paternal sex chromosome at, or before, conception. In the remaining 18 families with a variety of karyotypes, but especially in those where the child had an isochromosome of Xq or a ring X, there was again a strong tendency for the normal X to be maternal. Analysis of parental ages was performed with known origin of each abnormality, but no evidence for an increased or decreased parental age effect was detected.
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