Similar to observations in anaerobic ciliates, the endobionts likely support the choanoflagellate host (C. balthica) during anaerobic metabolism and thus allowed them to colonize oxygen depleted zones that supply high food availability. However, at this time we can not further specify the identity and role of these intracellular prokaryotes. As noted in the introduction, environmental choanoflagellate sequences are typical constituents of pelagic redoxcline find more protist communities and have been frequently detected in Selleck GSK126 hypoxic waters via clone libraries [18–20, 50, 51]. One environment in particular is worthy of mention: although the Cariaco Basin is globally the most comprehensively sampled
(nearly 7,000 entries in GenBank of partial clonal 18S rRNA gene sequences for this habitat; e.g., [50, 52, 53]), no sequences belonging to C. balthica or C. minima have been found there. This could be deeply rooted in methodological limitations (e.g. different primers used for RNA or DNA templates). Alternatively, the higher salinity of the Cariaco Basin, or other physico-chemical or hydrological parameters, could exclude the two Baltic Codosiga species from this environment with fully saline conditions. However, these species seem to be relatively insensitive to salinity variations and are highly tolerant Seliciclib price to the presence of oxygen and sulfide. They were able to grow in culture at 8 ‰ (this study) and one sequence related to strain C. balthica comes from deeper hypoxic water layers of the
Framvaren Fjord at about 25 ‰, . Thus, the possibility that these species represent endemic taxa of the Baltic Sea region should be taken into consideration and will be tested in further studies. Conclusions Both isolated species described Fluorometholone Acetate here, C. minima and C. balthica, were found within suboxic to anoxic water layers, in the latter case using different approaches and in several years. The species are of interest due to their habitat, from which no choanoflagellate cultures could be obtained yet, their unusual mitochondrial cristae and presence of intracellular prokaryotes in one species. Our isolation effort is important in view of the complexity of isolation and cultivation of choanoflagellates species  and of protists that can survive in hypoxic environments in general. The novel C. balthica is ecologically relevant component of the protist community at the sampling sites tested. With its interior (derived mitochondria, prokaryotes), at least C. balthica is potentially able to outcompete less adaptable heterotrophic nanoflagellates and to become abundant in hypoxic parts of the Baltic Sea. Preliminary investigations have shown that C. balthica is able to grow successfully under suboxic conditions in the laboratory, but not C. minima (M. Marcuse, C. Wylezich & K. Jürgens, unpublished results).