2-Methoxynaphthalene was subjected to biooxidation by whole cells of six organisms: Pseudomonas putida F39/D containing toluene dioxygenase, Escherichia coli JM109(pDTG601), containing recombinant toluene dioxygenase from Pp F39/D, Pseudomonas sp. NCIB 9816/11, containing naphthalene dioxygenase. E. coli JM109(pDTG141), containing recombinant naphthalene dioxygenase from NCIB 98161/11, E. coli C534(ProR/Sac) containing recombinant naphthalene dioxygenase from Pp G7, and Beijerinckia sp. B8/36, containing biphenyl dioxygenase. The major product of oxidation by the naphthalene and biphenyl dioxygenases has been isolated and identified as (1R,2S)-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,2-dihydronaphthalene, 2c. A minor product, (1R,2S)-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-1,2-dihydronaphthalene, 3c, has also been detected. Oxidation by the toluene dioxygenase-containing organisms led to the isolation of 3c as the major product. Minor products detected in these reactions were 2c, and a third compound, (1S,2S)-dihydroxy-3-methoxy-1,2-dihydronaphthalene, 4c. Structural studies and dehydration of the diols to a mixture of naphthols are described. The absolute stereochemistry of these new diols has been established by correlation with known compounds. The organisms' potential in the production of new metabolites as useful chiral synthons by biooxidation of 2-substituted naphthalenes is indicated.