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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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M.E. Casey Crooks
M.E. Casey Crooks

M.E. Casey Crooks

Institute for Microbial and Biochemical Sciences
Unit: FPL-4712
Research Microbiologist
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI
United States

Phone: 608-231-9251

Current Research

Our research goals are to use genetic tools to identify important genes and gene products involved in wood decay and fermentation of cellulosic biomass. We seek to use a large scale genetic screening approach dependent on the development of high throughput transformation and subsequent high throughput phenotypic assays. This mass screening approach seeks to compliment the currently deployed biochip array and genomics based informatics to identify potentially valuable candidate genes and enzymes that might not otherwise be recognized.

Research Interest

  • Molecular cloning and characterization of pyranose 2-oxidase gene from the brown rot fungus Gloeophyllum trabeum
  • Molecular genetics of filamentous fungi, particularly Basidiomycetes
  • Forward genetic identification of elements influencing ethanol production in Pichia stipitis for use in strain improvement.
  • Functional genomics and bioinformatics related to lignocellulose-degrading fungi
  • Improved transformation technologies for manipulation of white and brown rot fungi using biolistic bombardment.
  • Whole genome expression microarray analysis and proteomics
  • Identification
  • Heterologous expression systems
  • Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Postia placenta, Ceriporiopsis subvermispora

Below are the 15 US Forest Service publications sorted by year. You may re-sort the list by: Title, Date Posted, Category, Publication or Year.

Publication Year: 2021
Title: A New Subfamily of Glycoside Hydrolase Family 30 with Strict Xylobiohydrolase Function
Source: Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences
Author(s) Crooks, Casey ; Bechle, Nathan J.; St John, Franz J.
Year: 2021   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2020
Title: CaXyn30B from the solventogenic bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum is a glucuronic acid-dependent endoxylanase
Source: BMC Research Notes. 13(1): 2. 6 p.
Author(s) Crooks, Casey ; Long, Liangkun ; St John, Franz J.
Year: 2020   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2018
Title: A plasmid borne, functionally novel glycoside hydrolase family 30 subfamily 8 endoxylanase from solventogenic Clostridium
Source: Biochemical Journal. 475(9): 1533-1551.
Author(s) St John, Franz J.; Dietrich, Diane ; Crooks, Casey ; Balogun, Peter ; de Serrano, Vesna ; Pozharski, Edwin ; Smith, James Kennon; Bales, Elizabeth ; Hurlbert, Jason
Year: 2018   view abstract, download publication »
Title: Draft genome sequence of Burkholderia cepacia ATCC 17759, a polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate copolymer-producing bacterium
Source: Genome Announcements. 6(17): 1-2.
Author(s) Crooks, Casey ; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Lindner, Daniel L.
Year: 2018   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2017
Title: Xylanase 30 A from Clostridium thermocellum functions as a glucuronoxylan xylanohydrolase
Source: Journal of Molecular Catalysis B: Enzymatic. 1-7.
Author(s) St John, Franz J.; Crooks, Casey; Dietrich, Diane; Hurlbert, Jason
Year: 2017   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2016
Title: Genomic and transcriptomic analysis of carbohydrate utilization by Paenibacillus sp. JDR-2: systems for bioprocessing plant polysaccharides
Source: BMC Genomics, Vol. 17(1).
Author(s) Sawhney, Neha; Crooks, Casey; Chow, Virginia; Preston, James F.; St. John, Franz
Year: 2016   view abstract, download publication »
Title: Glycosyl Hydrolase Xylanases, Compositions and Methods of Use for Efficient Hydrolysis and Processing of Xylan
Source: U.S. Patent
Author(s) St. John, Franz; Dietrich, Diane; Crooks, Casey
Year: 2016   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2015
Title: Chemistry of wood in 3D: new infrared imaging
Source: Proceedings paper: 19th International Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation of Wood Symposium, September 22-15, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 2015; 5 p.
Author(s) Illman, Barbara L.; Sedlmair, Julia; Unger, Miriam; Crooks, Casey; Oliveira, Marli; Hirschmugl, Carol
Year: 2015   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2014
Title: A novel member of glycoside hydrolase family 30 subfamily 8 with altered substrate specificity
Source: Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography
Author(s) St John, Franz J.; Dietrich, Diane; Crooks, Casey; Pozharski, Edwin; González, Javier M.; Bales, Elizabeth; Smith, Kennon; Hurlbert, Jason C.
Year: 2014   view abstract, download publication »
Title: Transcriptomic Analysis of Xylan Utilization Systems in Paenibacillus sp
Source: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Author(s) Sawhney, Neha; Crooks, Casey; St. John, Franz; Preston, James F.; Kelly, R. M.
Year: 2014   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2013
Title: Differential sensitivity of polyhydroxyalkanoate producing bacteria to fermentation inhibitors and comparison of polyhydroxybutyrate production from Burkholderia cepacia and Pseudomonas pseudoflava
Source: BMC Research Notes 2013, Volume 6, Number 1, 2013; 4 p.
Author(s) Dietrich, Diane; Illman, Barbara; Crooks, Casey
Year: 2013   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2011
Title: Proteomic and functional analysis of the Cellulase system Expressed by Postia placenta during Brown Rot of Solid Wood
Source: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Nov. 2011, p. 7933-7941; 2011
Author(s) Ryu, JaeSan; Shary, Semarjit; Houtman,Carl J.; Panisko, Ellen A.; Korripally, Premsagar; St.John, Franz J.; Crooks, Casey; Siika-aho, Matti; Magnuson, Jon K.; Hammel, Kenneth E.
Year: 2011   view abstract, download publication »
Title: Pseudomonas sax Genes Overcome Aliphatic Isothiocyanate - Mediated Non-Host Resistance in Arabidopsis
Source: Science. 331: 1185 -1188. 2011
Author(s) Fan, Jun; Crooks, Casey; Creissen, Gary; Hill, Lionel; Fairhurst, Shirley; Doerner, Peter; Lamb, Chris
Year: 2011   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2009
Title: Abscisic Acid Has a Key Role in Modulating Diverse Plant-Pathogen Interactions 1 [C] [W] [OA]
Source: Plant Physiology, August 2009, Vol. 150, pp. 1750-1761; 2009
Author(s) Fan, Jun; Hill, Lionel; Crooks, Casey, Doerner, Peter; Lamb, Chris
Year: 2009   view abstract, download publication »
Title: Gene cloning and herologous expression of pyranose 2-oxidase from the brown-rot fungus, Gloeophyllum trabeum
Source: Biotechnol Lett (2009) 31:1223-1228; 2009
Author(s) Dietrich, Diane; Crooks, Casey
Year: 2009   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2017
Crystallographic comparison of the GlcA-independent CaXyn30A aglycone region with the ligand bound GlcA-dependent CtXyn30A structure.
Highlight ID: 1296
Enzymatic conversion of xylan into valuable products.

Xylan represents a vast store of potential value but rather than seeing beneficial use, much of this reservoir is lost in catastrophic wildfires that result in significant property loss and tragic loss of life. This Forest Service research aims to un ...

Publication Year: 2016
Comparative expression levels of Paenibacillus sp JDR-2 polysaccharide utilization genes when grown on select plant-derived substrates. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 663
Characterization of Microbial Biocatalysts in Lignocellulosic Utilization

Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass would benefit from development of second generation bacterial biocatalysts. The bacterium Paenibacillus sp. strain JDR2, originally isolated from decaying sweetgum wood disks, has the ability to process a vari ...

Proposed Van der waals interactions between a xylooligosaccharide and an appendage depended xylan degrading enzyme. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 662
Development of Enzymes for use in Lignocellulose Processing

The ultimate best use of lignocellulose allows for the selective extraction of defined value streams. To facilitate this, Forest Service research strives to develop new enzymes with unique capabilities in biomass processing. These new enzymes aim to ...

Publication Year: 2015
The structure model of the new glycoside hydrolase family 30-8 (GH30-8) xylanase (green) overlaid with the previously determined protein structure of a canonical GH30-8 xylanase (blue) indicating that although the new xylanase is functionally unique, it does not structurally differ from the canonical GH30-8 xylanases (top). An alignment showing the specific region of primary amino acid sequence containing the altered sequence (red boxes) attributed to the observed difference in mode of action of this new enzyme against its xylan substrate. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 613
Protein Structure and Biochemical Characterization of a Novel Functioning Xylanase

Scientists identified and characterized a xylanase with unique function that may have applications in processing of woody biomass substrate. ...