Saskia de Fraine – Account Manager

Our Account Manager Saskia has co-authored a paper which identifies a new mechanism in plants, under the control of the circadian clock, that helps them to tolerate the cold.

Cold mornings can be challenging, for plants as well as people…

Cold, bright mornings can spell danger for plants, as the cold can damage their cells and photosynthetic machinery, but the intense sunlight during this time is incredibly important for the production of energy.

The research reveals a process which increases the resilience of photosynthesis in plants under these cold conditions, so that they can continue to produce energy when it’s needed.

This resilience depends largely on sigma factor 5 (SIG5), which is a protein that communicates information to the photosynthetic machinery in the plant.

“During my Research Master’s, I spent many, many hours staring at plants in the lab, reading, writing and talking about circadian rhythms, SIG5, HY5, HYH… And for all this work to have contributed to a significant scientific advancement, plus a publication in Nature(!), I feel very proud.

I’m also genuinely excited to see where this knowledge will be applied next, and to understand if we can modify this process in crops in the field to increase their cold tolerance, enabling crops such as maize to grow in naturally colder environments.”

To read more…follow the link below to the full paper: Low-temperature and circadian signals are integrated by the sigma factor SIG5



With a Research Masters in Biological Sciences and a love of being creative, Saskia brings a unique curiosity, understanding and scientific knowledge to Verve. One of Saskia’s proudest achievements is having her published research feature on David Attenborough’s Green Planet series.

Cookies information

We use cookies to understand how visitors use our site. By clicking the “Accept” button, you agree to our use of cookies and similar technologies. You can manage your browser settings to disable cookies at any time. For more information, see our Cookie Policy.