Serum response factor (SRF), a MADS-box transcription factor, is essential for murine embryonic development and for the function of muscle cells and neurons. SRF and its transcriptional co-factors are broadly expressed. To determine the in vivo role of SRF in developing lymphocytes we specifically inactivated the murine Srf gene during T or B cell development using lymphocyte-specific Cre transgenic mouse lines. T cell-specific Srf deletion led to a severe block in thymocyte development at the transition from double to single positive stage. The few residual T cells detectable in the periphery retained at least one functional Srf allele, thereby demonstrating the importance of SRF in T cell development. In contrast, deletion of Srf in developing B cells did not interfere with the growth and survival of B cells in general, yet led to a complete loss of marginal zone B cells and a marked reduction of the CD5+ B cell subset. Our study also revealed a contribution of SRF to the expression of the surface molecules IgM, CD19, and the chemokine receptor 4 in B lymphocytes.