Arthrobacter sp. strain PBA metabolized phenylboronic acid to phenol. The oxygen atom in phenol was shown to be derived from the atmosphere using (18)O(2). 1-Naphthalene-, 2-naphthalene-, 3-cyanophenyl-, 2,5-fluorophenyl-, and 3-thiophene-boronic acids were also transformed to monooxygenated products. The oxygen atom in the product was bonded to the ring carbon atom originally bearing the boronic acid substituent with all the substrates tested.