Karl Kramer, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor Emeritus
Research Chemist (retired) at CGAHR
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. Presently, he is a collaboratior/consultant at CGAHR.
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. 2112. 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 in Tribolium castaneum. 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.
Tomoyasu, Y., Arakane, Y., Kramer, K. J. and Dennell, R. E. 2009. Repeated co-options of exoskeleton formation during wing-to-elytron evolution in beetles. Current Biology 19, 2057-2065. [Commentary: Fedrigo, O. and Wray, G. A. 2010. Developmental evolution: How beetles evolved their shields. Current Biology 20, R64-R66.]
Arakane, Y., Begum, K., Dixit, R., Park, Y., Specht, C. A., Kramer, K. J., Muthukrishnan, S. and Beeman, R. W. 2009. Analysis of functions of the chitin deacetylase gene family in Tribolium castaneum. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 39, 355-365.
Arakane, Y., Lomakin, J., Beeman, R. W., Muthukrishnan, S., Gehrke, S. H., Kanost, M. R. and Kramer, K. J. Molecular and functional analyses of amino acid decarboxylases involved in cuticle tanning in Tribolium castaneum. 2009. J. Biol. Chem. 284, 16584-16594.
Arakane, Y., Li, B., Muthukrishnan, S., Beeman, R. W., Kramer, K. J. and Park, Y. 2008. Functional analysis of four neuropeptides, EH, ETH, CCAP and bursicon, in ecdysis behavior of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Mech. Develop. 125, 984-995. [Commentary: Merzendorfer, H. 2009. Beetle’s moult is different from fly’s. J. Exp. Biol. 212, vi.]