Pecinka lab:Mariana Diaz

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Mariana Diaz Smoje

Mariana Díaz Smoje

Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research

Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10

50829 Cologne



+49 221 5062 421


+49 221 5062 467


About me


I’m a DAAD Ph.D student from Chile who recently joined the group of Genome and Epigenome Evolution at Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research.

My research focuses on the analysis of DNA damage repair mechanisms in plants and I work under the supervision of Dr. Ales Pecinka

During my former education I worked first with Fragaria chiloensis fruit (Chilean strawberry), determining the effects of cell wall modifying genes during postharvest under different treatments and in order to get my engineers degree, I carried out my research in the field of abiotic stress, specifically freezing tolerance in Eucalyptus globulus (gum tree).

I decided to apply to a DAAD scholarship under the supervision of Ales because I’m interested to plant genomics, including epigenetics and DNA damage repair mechanisms.


  • 2013 - up to date: Ph.D student, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research. Advisor: Ales Pecinka
  • 2008-2013: Plant Biotechnology Engineer, Universidad de Concepción, Chile
  • 2008-2012: Bachelor in Plant Biotechnology, Universidad de Concepción, Chile


  • Cooking, learning foreign languages, mountainbiking and traveling.


  • Figueroa, C.R., Opazo, M.C., Vera, P., Arriagada, O., Díaz, M. and Moya-León, M.A. 2012. Effect of postharvest treatment of calcium and auxin on cell wall composition and expression of cell wall-modifying genes in the Chilean strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) fruit. Food Chemistry 132:2014-2022