Plasmid pEST1463 carrying the promoterless pheBA operon was cloned into Pseudomonas putida PaW85, and phenol-utilizing colonies were isolated on minimal plates containing phenol as the only carbon and energy source. In these clones, chromosomally located Tn4652 was transposed upstream from the coding sequencing of pheA (encoding phenol monooxygenase). Sequence analysis together with mapping of the transcription start point of the pheBA operon in the recombinant plasmids revealed that fusions of the -10 sequences present in the pheBA operon and -35 sequence located in the terminal inverted repeats of Tn4652 had generated functional promoters under selective pressure in P. putida cells. These promoter sequences show similarity to the Escherichia coli RNA polymerase sigma 70 promoter consensus sequence. In three of the six fusion promoters studied, the generation combined two distinct events: transposition of Tn4652 into DNA containing potential -10 sequences and point mutations in these sequences. These mutations made the -10 sequences more like the sigma 70 promoter consensus sequences.