Considering the predominant role of rare variants of the Bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP9) gene in the occurrence of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH), here we conducted a case-control study, together with functional validation, to explore the relationships between variants of the BMP9 gene and development of IPAH. We found minor alleles of rs3740297 (OR: 0.72, 95% CI: 0.59-0.87, P=7.77×10-5) and rs7923671 (OR: 0.76, 95% CI: 0.62-0.93, P=0.009) were significantly associated with decreased risk of IPAH. Minor alleles of rs3740297 and rs7923671 were significantly associated with increased plasma level of BMP9 in both IPAH cases and controls (P<0.001). An allele of rs7923671 showed higher relative luciferase activity compared to that containing G allele (P<0.001). Mechanism exploration found that pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMC) cell line transfected with rs3740297 C allele construct, miR-149 mimic, and antagomir miR-149 showed more sensitive change of the relative luciferase activity and BMP9 expression. This means minor allele T of rs3740297 could significantly decrease susceptibility of IPAH in Chinese population, possibly by increasing BMP9 expression through losing a miR-149 binding site. Our study provides evidence for genetic associations between two specific variants in the BMP9 gene and plasma level of BMP9, occurrence of IPAH.