Single glycerinated rabbit psoas muscle fibers were skinned by splitting them lengthwise. The fiber segments thus obtained were more easily accessible to solutes in the surrounding medium than the intact fibers. Using such segments, active tension could be fully abolished by adding N-ethylmaleimide under conditions which lead to inhibition of actin activation of the ATPase activity of myosin. Such muscles could, however, develop tension after irrigation with myosin or with the water-soluble active myosin fragments heavy meromyosin (HMM) or its subfragment 1 (HMM-S1). The induced tensions increased with increasing protein concentration in the irrigating solution. At any given protein concentration, the tension generated by myosin was larger than that produced by HMM which was, in turn, greater than that induced by HMM-S1 e.g. at 15 mg/ml protein the tensions produced by these three myosin moieties were 44.0, 14.0 and 2.8 g/cm2, respectively. The tension was found to be intimately associated with ATP splitting; thus, HMM and HMM-S1 which have been treated with reagents abolishing actin-activated ATPase failed to induce tension development. A contractile force may thus be generated through the interaction with actin of the water-soluble, enzymatically active, myosin subfragments involving the splitting of ATP.