Current trends in the genus Amelanchier Medik. system improvement

O. D. Andriyenko, O. A. Opalko, A. I. Opalko


Introduction. Cultivated representatives of Amelanchier spp. (Juneberry) in Ukraine belong to unconventional, but valuable fruit and ornamental plants. This determines the topicality of analyzing the current state of taxonomic and systematic studies of the genus Amelanchier Medik. presented in the article. The reasons that complicate the identification of the plants as well as the structure of the genus and aspects of sorting species that emerged with the development of molecular systematics, are discussed.

Purpose. To specify the taxonomic composition of the genus Amelanchier representatives, and to analyze current views on the systematic position of these plants in the genus system and make  lists of their synonymous names used in botanics.

Methods. The method of group selection of analyzing the sources of scientific literature  using citing criteria in peer-reviewed publications and giving priority to research that is carried out by international programs.

Results. Concerning the relative stability of the placement of Amelanchier representatives within the main taxa of higher rank, the place of the genus within the particular subfamily, namely: within the subfamily Pyroideae (former Maloideae) or in the subfamily Amygdaloideae, uniting former subfamilies Amygdaloideae, Spiraeoideae and Maloideae, remains debatable. Analysis of available publications and electronic databases on the taxonomy of species Amelanchier allowed to state the tendency of decreasing the number of recognized species of the accepted genus status in the lists of the genus composition.

Originality. Tendencies, concerning specifying the status of the species that once belonged to the genus Amelanchier, indicate changing views on the taxonomy of the Juneberry in the perspective of a certain concept, in particular the transition from monotypic to polytypic species concept, when a certain amount (one-two) of distinctive features, at a more detailed study, are the manifestation of variability in the species to adapt to environmental factors.

Conclusion. Found in various publications, differences on species and intraspecies classification of Amelanchier spp. indicate the incompleteness of the genus system and the necessity for further research using both the newest, including molecular and genetic, and traditional methods.


agamospecies; molecular systematics; DNA sequence; microspecies; non-traditional crops; subfamily; horticulture; species status; tribe Maleae


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