S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Putterill, Mr Victor Armsby (mycology)

Born: Date not known, Harrismith, South Africa.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Victor A. Putterill, mycologist, attended the Government Secondary School in Harrismith and passed the matriculation examination of the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1912. He continued his studies at Grey University College, Bloemfontein, and was awarded the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with honours in botany in 1915. He stayed on at the college as a demonstrator in chemistry under Professor Max M. Rindl* while completing his studies for the degree Master of Arts (MA). In July 1917 he was appointed as a fruit inspector in the Division of Botany and Plant Pathology of the Department of Agriculture. The next year he was put in charge of a newly established mycological laboratory in Cape Town, where he studied the plant diseases of the Western Cape. The laboratory was later taken over by the Stellenbosch-Elsenburg College of Agriculture. Putterill became chief fruit inspector in 1926 but retained his interest in fungi and found a number of organisms associated with fruit decay or living in packing sheds. Specimens of the fungi he collected went to the National Collection of Fungi of the Plant Protection Research Institute in Pretoria.

Putterill published his notes on the morphology and life history of the fungus Uromyces Aloes Cooke in the South African Journal of Science (Vol. 15, pp. 656-662) in 1918, followed the next year by his description of a new apple tree canker (1919, Vol. 16, pp. 258-272). His later contributions to publications of the Department of Agriculture dealt with the biology of Schizophyllum commune Fries (1922), pear scab in the Western province (1922), silver leaf disease of fruit trees and its occurrence in South Africa (1923), plant diseases in the Cape Province (1923), the prevention of mould wastage in oranges (1930), and a citrus wastage investigation (1934). His last publication of importance was a paper on the effect of acetylene on the ripening of Kelsey plums in Nature (1938).

Putterill was a member of the South African Biological Society and in 1922 was honorary secretary and treasurer of its Cape Town branch. In 1933 he was living in Green Point, Cape Town, and by 1946 resided in St James, Western Cape.

List of sources:

Doidge, E.M. South African fungi and lichens to the end of 1945. Bothalia, 1950, Vol. 5, pp. 1-1094 (see p. 41).

Google Scholar, at http://scholar.google.co.za Publications by V.A. Putterill.

Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS), at http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to V.A. Putterill.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

South African Journal of Natural History, 1919, Vol. 1(2) and 1920, Vol. 2(2), lists of members [of the SA Biological Society]; 1922, Vol. 3(2), Council.

South African Journal of Science, 1918, Vol. 15 and 1919, Vol. 16: Papers by Putterill.

University of the Cape of Good Hope. Calendar, 1913/4, 1916/7, 1917/8 (pp. 349-359: Colleges).

Compiled by: C. Plug