London, Oct 13 : A team of scientists from Bonn and Dusseldorf Universities has identified "hair loss" genetic variants that can be passed from a father to his son.
The same research team had discovered the first hair-loss gene inherited through the maternal line in 2005, explaining why hair-loss in men often reflects that of their maternal grandfathers.
However, the new study holds fathers responsible for hair loss in men.
During the study, the researchers analysed genomes of just under 300 men suffering from marked hair loss, and examined more than 500,000 variable sites in the genomes of their test subjects.
They identified two positions that frequently displayed a clear correspondence with baldness in the subjects, indicating that the genes located at those points were involved in hair-loss.
"The newly discovered gene lies on chromosome 20, and can be inherited from both the mother and the father," Nature Genetics quoted Dr. Markus Nothen, a researcher from Bonn University's Institute of Human Genetics and Life and Brain-Centre, as saying.
"This helps to provide an explanation for the similarity between father and son," he added.
Dr. Axel Hillmer of the Life and Brain Forschungszentrum (research centre) in Bonn states, said: "In one of these conspicuous regions lies the gene for the androgen receptor."
He added: "We had already learnt from an earlier study that this receptor was linked to hair loss. However, the other region was new to us."
This is only the second region of the genome associated with premature hair-loss.
"We are now trying to discover the role played by this genomic region in hair-growth", said Dr. Felix Brockschmidt of Bonn University.
"Only then will we know whether we are on the right track for new forms of therapy for male hair-loss," he added.
The study appears in Nature Genetics.