Aronia Medik. (chokeberry, Rosaceae) is a genus of woody shrubs with two or three North American species. Species boundaries and relationships between species of Aronia are frequently under question. The only European species in the genus, A. mitschurinii A.K.Skvortsov & Maitul., is suggested to be an inter-generic hybrid. In order to clarify the relationships between species of Aronia, we performed several morphometric and molecular analyses and found that the molecular and morphological diversity within data on American Aronia is low, and species boundaries are mostly not clearly expressed. Whereas morphology is able to separate American species from A. mitschurinii, there is no support for such discrimination from the molecular data; our analyses did not reveal evidence of A. mitschurinii hybrid origin. We believe that higher-resolution markers are needed to resolve species boundaries and putative hybridization events.
Aronia, Rosaceae, DNA, morphology, hybridity