The effects of dibromothymoquinone (DBMIB) and methylviologen (MV) on the Chl a fluorescence induction transient (OJIP) were studied in vivo. Simultaneously measured 820-nm transmission kinetics were used to monitor electron flow through photosystem I (PSI). DBMIB inhibits the reoxidation of plastoquinol by binding to the cytochrome b(6)/f complex. MV accepts electrons from the FeS clusters of PSI and it allows electrons to bypass the block that is transiently imposed by ferredoxin-NADP(+)-reductase (FNR) (inactive in dark-adapted leaves). We show that the IP phase of the OJIP transient disappears in the presence of DBMIB without affecting F(m). MV suppresses the IP phase by lowering the P level compared to untreated leaves. These observations indicate that PSI activity plays an important role in the kinetics of the OJIP transient. Two requirements for the IP phase are electron transfer beyond the cytochrome b(6)/f complex (blocked by DBMIB) and a transient block at the acceptor side of PSI (bypassed by MV). It is also observed that in leaves, just like in thylakoid membranes, DBMIB can bypass its own block at the cytochrome b(6)/f complex and donate electrons directly to PC(+) and P700(+) with a donation time tau of 4.3 s. Further, alternative explanations of the IP phase that have been proposed in the literature are discussed.