Date of Completion
Rosaceae, tissue culture, shoot organogenesis, sexual polyploidization, intergeneric hybridization, hybrid lethality, polyphenol biosynthesis, transcriptome
Mark H. Brand
Kent E. Holsinger
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
Aronia (Medik.), commonly known as chokeberry, are a group of multi-stemmed deciduous shrubs and belong to the Rosaceae family. Interest in Aronia has increased because their fruits contain high levels of polyphenolic compounds and are beneficial for human nutrition. Aronia species are also a valuable landscape replacement for invasive exotic ornamental plants and are adaptable to a wide range of geographic regions. The objective of this dissertation research is to utilize wild Aronia germplasm and to develop methods to genetically improve Aronia cultivars for the fruit and ornamental industries. In Chapter 1, an in vitro shoot regeneration procedure was developed to evaluate the frequency of adventitious shoot regeneration from in vitro leaves of a commercial cultivar of A. mitschurinii and cotyledons of closely related Malinae taxa and Aronia spp. genotypes. Chapter 2 provides evidence of how Aronia was domesticated as a fruit crop and how intergeneric hybridization and sexual polyploidization can be used to develop new cultivars. In Chapter 3, attempts were made to develop novel sources of pome fruit germplasm via intergeneric hybridization along with investigating the mating systems and compatibility between these wide hybridizations. This study also provides further evidence of a deleterious genetic incompatibility, hybrid lethality, that occurs in intergeneric F1 hybrids. Chapter 4 explores the transcriptome of Aronia fruit across four developmental stages to understand the molecular mechanisms involved with polyphenol biosynthesis. This dissertation provides methodology for Aronia breeding programs to incorporate wild Aronia germplasm into developing novel cultivars for the ornamental and fruit industries.
Mahoney, Jonathan, "Genetic Improvement and Functional Genomics of Aronia" (2020). Doctoral Dissertations. 2643.