Photosystem II reaction center components have been studied in small system II particles prepared with digitonin. Upon illumination the reduction of the primary acceptor was indicated by absorbance changes due to the reduction of a plastoquinone to the semiquinone anion and by a small blue shifts of absorption bands near 545 nm (C550) and 685 nm. The semiquinone to chlorophyll ratio was between 1/20 and 1/70 in various preparations. The terminal electron donor in this reaction did not cause large absorbance changes but its oxidized form was revealed by a hitherto unknown electron spin resonance (ESR) signal, which had some properties of the well-known signal II but a linewidth and g-value much nearer to those of signal I. Upon darkening absorbance and ESR changes decayed together in a cyclic or back reaction which was stimulated by 3-(3,4 dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea. The donor could be oxidized by ferricyanide in the dark. Illumination in the presence of ferricyanide induced absorbance and ESR changes, rapidly reversed upon darkening, which may be ascribed to the oxidation of a chlorophyll a dimer, possibly the primary electron donor of photosystem II. In addition an ESR signal with 15 to 20 gauss linewidth and a slower dark decay was observed, which may have been caused by a secondary donor.