To terminate the reverse transcription of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) genome, a final step occurs within the center of the proviral DNA generating a 99-nucleotide DNA flap (6). This step, catalyzed by reverse transcriptase (RT), is defined as a discrete strand displacement (SD) synthesis between the first nucleotide after the central priming (cPPT) site and the final position of the central termination sequence (CTS) site. Using recombinant HIV-1 RT and a circular single-stranded DNA template harboring the cPPT-CTS sequence, we have developed an SD synthesis-directed in vitro termination assay. Elongation, strand displacement, and complete central flap behavior were analyzed using electrophoresis and electron microscopy approaches. Optimal conditions to obtain complete central flap, which ended at the CTS site, have been defined in using nucleocapsid protein (NCp), the main accessory protein of the reverse transcription complex. A full-length HIV-1 central DNA flap was then carried out in vitro. Its synthesis appears faster in the presence of the HIV-1 NCp or the T4-encoded SSB protein (gp32). Finally, a high frequency of strand transfer was shown during the SD synthesis along the cPPT-CTS site with RT alone. This reveals a local and efficient 3′-5′ branch migration which emphasizes some important structural fluctuations within the flap. These fluctuations may be stabilized by the NCp chaperone activity. The biological implications of the RT-directed NCp-assisted flap synthesis are discussed within the context of reverse transcription complexes, assembly of the preintegration complexes, and nuclear import of the HIV-1 proviral DNA to the nucleus toward their chromatin targets.