CuTex: The Research Behind The Root Barrier

Independently assessed by The Center for Plant Sciences, at The University of Leeds, Cutex was found to function as a permeable root barrier since research focused on answering the following three questions: 

Does CuTex inhibit root growth? Answer: Yes


In order to assess whether CuTex can effectively inhibit root growth, the University used a range of approaches with different plant species. Testing in a sterile culture using Arabidopsis Thaliana demonstrated how CuTex creates a 'zone of inhibition' whereby roots grow towards this zone, but then ceased at a distance of approximately 1.5cm from the composite. even when seedlings were established at different distances all roots stopped at this zone,  and seedlings trying to establish within the zone failed to do so.                                                     







The most effective demonstration of CuTex was a setup using an upper layer of vermiculite and a lower composite layer separated by CuTex. The vermiculite contains no nutrients to support the development of the plant, and thus the long-term growth and survival of the plant depends on growing through the CuTex. The experiment was conducted using a number of plant species, including Japanese Knotweed, with the CuTex being assessed against a control fabric. 





Does the effectiveness of CuTex increase over time? Answer: Yes


CuTex in soil will effectively form a chemical barrier as the Cu2+ ions diffuse into the soil. It was hypothesised that the effectiveness of the CuTex increases with time. this was tested by pre-incubating CuTex in an agar media for a period of 4 weeks following which time seeds were sown. the plates where the CuTex had been allowed to incubate indicated a much stronger and larger zone of inhabitation abolishing the growth of seeds.

Is CuTex safe? Answer: Yes


The bio-safety of CuTex was tested by assessing how it affects the overall health and growth of plants. whilst CuTex prevents plants from growing through the composite and within the zone of inhibition, the effects were shown to be relatively localised. CuTex was not shown to negatively affect the biomass of surrounding plants.