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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics
141 Chalmers Hall
1711 Claflin Rd.
Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-7278 fax

Biotechnology Core Facility
206 Burt Hall
785-532-6297 fax

Biomolecular NMR Facility
37 Chalmers Hall

Karl Kramer, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor Emeritus
Research Chemist (retired) at CGAHR

Iamge of Karl Kramer, Ph.D.

Contact information

E-mail: kjkramer@ksu.edu


B.S. 1964, Purdue University
Ph.D. 1971, University of Arizona

Areas of specialty

  • Insect biochemistry and physiology
  • Cuticle sclerotization and molting
  • Chitin and catecholamine metabolism
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Stored product insect pest control
  • Biopesticide development in transgenic plants

Dr. Kramer is a biochemist internationally recognized for his comprehensive research program investigating insect cuticle structure, chitin metabolism, tanning chemistry, neuropeptides, molting, digestion and the use of biopesticides and insect growth regulators for insect pest control. Results of his research have had major impact in insect molecular science and also preharvest and postharvest insect pest management programs, including the development of insect growth regulators, biopesticides, transgenic plants and biological control agents by the agricultural biotechnology industry. Until his retirement in 2003, he was a research chemist at the ARS-USDA Center for Grain and Animal Health Research and Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry at K-State.

Selected publications

Chaudhari, S., Arakane, Y., Specht, C.A., Moussian, B., Kramer, K.J., Beeman, R.W., and Muthukrishnan, S. 2013. Retroactive maintains cuticle integrity by promoting the trafficking of Knickkopf into the procuticle of Tribolium castaneum. PLoS Genet. 9(1):e1003268. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003268.

Jasrapuria, S., Specht, C.A., Kramer, K.J., Beeman, R.W. and Muthukrishnan, S. 2012. Gene families of cuticular proteins analogous to peritrophins (CPAPs) in Triboliumcastaneum have diverse functions. PLoS ONE 7(11):e49844. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.00498443

Merzendorfer, H., Kim, H.S., Chaudhari, S.S., Kumari, M., Specht, C.A., Butcher, S., Brown, S.J., Manac, J.R., Beeman, R.W., Kramer, K.J., and Muthukrishnan, S. 201. Geneomic and proteomic studies on the effects of the insect growth regulator diflubenzuron in the model beetle species Tribolium castaneum. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 42, 264-276.

Arakane, Y., Lomakin, J., Gehrke, S.H., Hiromasa, Y., Tomich, J.M., Muthukrishnan, S., Beeman, R.W., Kramer, K.J., and Kanost, M.R. 2012. Formation of rigid, non-flight forewings (elytra) of a beetle requires two major cuticular proteins. PLoS Genet 8(4):e1002682. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002682.

Dittmer, N.T., Hiromasa, Y., Tomich, L.M., Lu, N., Beeman, R.W., Kramer, K.J., and Kanost, M.R. 2012. Proteomic and transcriptomic analyses of rigid and membranous cuticles from the elytra and hindwings of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Journal of Proteome Research. 11, 269-278.

Chaudhari, S. S., Arakane, Y., Specht, C. A., Moussian, B., Boyle, D., Park, Y., Kramer, K. J., Beeman, R. W. and Muthukrishnan, S. 2011. Knickkopf protein protects and organizes chitin in the newly synthesized insect exoskeleton.PNAS 108, 17028-17033. [Editor’s Choice: In With The New. Science 333, 1802 (2011)]

Zhang, J., Zhang, X., Arakane, Y., Muthukrishnan, S., Kramer, K. J., Ma, E. and Zhu, K. Y. 2011. Comparative genomic analysis of chitinase and chitinase-like genes in the African malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae). PLoS ONE 6: e19899. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019899.

Zhang, J., Zhang, X., Arakane, Y., Muthukrishnan, S., Kramer, K. J., Ma, E. and Zhu, K. Y. 2011. Identification and characterization of a novel chitinase gene cluster (AgCht5) possibly derived from tandem duplications in the African malaria mosquito,Anopheles gambiae. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 41, 521-528.

Muthukrishnan, S., Merzendorfer, H., Arakane, Y. and Kramer, K. J. 2012. Chitin metabolism in insects. In Insect Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, L. I. Gilbert, ed., Academic Press, p. 193-235 (ISBN: 9780123847478).

Arakane, Y., Baguinon, M. C., Jasrapuria, S., Chaudhari, S., Doyungan, A., Kramer, K. J., Muthukrishnan, S. and Beeman, R. W. 2011. Both UDP N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylases of Tribolium castaneum are critical for molting, survival and fecundity. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 41, 42-50.

Mijaji, T., Murayama, S., Kouzuma, Y., Kimura, N., Kanost, M. R., Kramer, K. J. and Yonekura, M. 2010. Molecular cloning of a multidomain cysteine protease and protease inhibitor precursor gene from the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) and functional expression of the cathepsin-F like cysteine protease domain. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 40, 835-846.

Lomakin, J., Huber, P. A., Eicher, C., Arakane, Y., Kramer, K. J., Beeman, R. W., Kanost, M. R. and Gehrke, S. H. 2011. Mechanical properties of the beetle elytron, a biological composite material. Biomacromolecules 12, 321-335.

Jasrapuria, S., Arakane, Y., Osman, G., Kramer, K. J., Beeman, R. W. and Muthukrishnan. 2010. Domain organization, phylogenetic analysis and expression of gene families in Tribolium castaneum encoding proteins with peritrophin A-type chitin-binding domains.Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 40, 214-227.

Arakane, Y., Dittmer, N. T., Kramer, K. J., Muthukrishnan, S., Beeman, R. W. and Kanost, M. R. 2010. Identification, mRNA expression and functional analysis of some yellow family genes inTribolium castaneum. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 40, 259-266.

Broehan, G., Arakane, Y., Beeman, R. W., Kramer, K. J., Muthukrishnan, S. and Merzendorfer, H. 2010. Chymotrypsin-like peptidases from Tribolium castaneum: a role in molting revealed by RNA interference. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 40, 274-283.

Lomakin, J., Arakane, Y., Kramer, K. J., Beeman, R. W., Kanost, M. R. and Gehrke, S. H. 2010. Mechanical properties of elytra from Tribolium castaneum wild-type and body color mutant strains. J. Insect Physiol. 56, 1901-1906.

View complete publications list