Signals transduced by Notch receptors are indispensable for T cell specification and differentiation of alphabeta T lineage cells. However, the role of Notch signals during alphabeta versus gammadelta T lineage decision remains controversial. Here, we addressed this question by employing a clonal analysis of CD4(-)CD8(-) (DN) progenitor potential to position the divergence of alphabeta and gammadelta T cell lineages to the late DN2 to DN3 developmental stages. Accordingly, alphabeta and gammadelta precursor frequencies within these T cell progenitor subsets were determined, both in the presence and absence of Notch signaling through Delta-like 1. Notch signals were found to be critical for the DN to CD4(+)CD8(+) (DP) transition, irrespective of the identity (pTalphabeta or gammadelta) of the inducing T cell receptor complex, whereas gammadelta T cells developed from gammadeltaTCR-expressing T cell progenitors in the absence of further Notch ligand interaction. Collectively, our findings demonstrate a differential, stage-specific requirement for Notch receptor-ligand interactions in the differentiation of alphabeta and gammadelta T cells from T cell progenitors.