Several linkage studies on anxiety have been carried out in samples ascertained through probands with panic disorder. The results indicated that using a broad anxiety phenotype instead of a DSM-IV anxiety disorder diagnosis might enhance the chance of finding a linkage signal. In the current study, a genome-wide linkage analysis was performed on anxiety measured with a self-report questionnaire whose scores are highly correlated with DSM-IV anxiety disorders. The self-report questionnaire was included in five surveys of a longitudinal study of the Netherlands Twin Register. Genotype and phenotype data were available for 1602 twins and siblings. To estimate identity by descent , additional genotype data for 564 parents and 22 siblings were used. Linkage analyses were carried out using MERLIN-regress on the average anxiety scores across time. A linkage signal (logarithm of odds score 3.4, empirical P-value 0.07) was obtained at chromosome 14 for marker D14S65 at 105 cM (90% confidence interval, 99-115 cM bounded by markers D14S1434 and D14S985). This finding replicates a linkage finding for a broad anxiety phenotype in a clinically based sample, indicating that the region might harbor a quantitative trait locus associated with the whole spectrum of general anxiety, that is from the normal to the clinical range. Moreover, genome-wide linkage and association studies on emotionality in mice obtained significant results in a syntenic region on mouse chromosome 12. Two homolog genes lie in this region -Dlk1 (delta-like 1 homolog, Drosophila) and Rtl1 (retrotransposon-like 1). Future association studies of these genes are warranted. © 2008 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved.