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Description of Loma

The following description is based on that of L. salmonae in the secondary lamellae of the gills of salmonid fish, monomorphic, monokaryotic throughout the life cycle; species of Loma develop in whitish xenomas, wall of the xenoma consists of the highly irregular plasma membrane of the host cell which becomes deeply invaginated into a surrounding layer of amorphous material in L. salmonae or into the basement membrane of the pillar system in L. morhua; collagen fibres are deposited in these layers to form the cyst wall; nucleus of the host cell is enlarged and possibly branched; merogonic and sporogonic stages are randomly distributed in the host cell cytoplasm in contrast to their organisation in xenomas of Glugea; Xenomas cause bulbous expansions of the gill filaments; meronts are cylindrical cells with several nuclei, completely surrounded by host cell endoplasmic reticulum which divides with the meront as it undergoes multiple fission into uninucleate cells; sporonts are binucleate cells, around which the endoplasmic reticulum disperses before an envelope separates from the surface by blister formation, to form a sporophorous vesicle; division of the binucleate sporont and subsequent division of the products gives 4 sporoblasts; spores, 4.3 x 2.1 µm, are elongate ellipsoid and uninucleate with a thin exospore and thick endospore; polaroplast is composed of an anterior region of closely packed membranes overlying a region of well spaced membranes, merging into a posterior vesicular region; polar tube isofilar, with about 14 coils µmore in L. morhua) in a single rank, surrounding a prominent posterior vacuole, into which the posterior end of the spore is often collapsed in fixed specimens; type species Loma morhua, Morrison and Sprague 1981, in gill filaments of Gadus morhua (Pisces, Gadidae).

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