Members of three classes of unicellular algae have exploited an intracellular habitat and occur as endosymbionts in aquatic invertebrates, including Protozoa. Such associations manifest a range of host-symbiont cellular interactions and achieve stability through the regulation of symbiont numbers. The mechanism of regulation is poorly understood. Steady-state algae:host cell ratios might be achieved by expulsion, digestion, or inhibition of growth of algal symbionts. Digestion and expulsion have been observed directly in some associations but their role in regulating numbers is circumstantial. Inhibition of growth as a result of nutrient limitation or inhibitor secretion is an attractive, but inadequately tested, hypothesis. The relation between the host cell mitosis and algal proliferation is a potential focal point for further study.