Transposable elements (TEs) comprise a substantial portion of many eukaryotic genomes and are typically transcriptionally silenced. RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 2 (RDR2) is a component of the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) silencing pathway. In maize, loss of mediator of paramutation1 (mop1) encoded RDR2 function results in reactivation of transcriptionally silenced Mu transposons and a substantial reduction in the accumulation of 24 nt short-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) that recruit RNA silencing components. An RNA-seq experiment conducted on shoot apical meristems (SAMs) revealed that, as expected based on a model in which RDR2 generates 24 nt siRNAs that suppress expression, most differentially expressed DNA TEs (78%) were up-regulated in the mop1 mutant. In contrast, most differentially expressed retrotransposons (68%) were down-regulated. This striking difference suggests that distinct silencing mechanisms are applied to different silencing templates. In addition, >6,000 genes (24% of analyzed genes), including nearly 80% (286/361) of genes in chromatin modification pathways, were differentially expressed. Overall, two-thirds of differentially regulated genes were down-regulated in the mop1 mutant. This finding suggests that RDR2 plays a significant role in regulating the expression of not only transposons, but also of genes. A re-analysis of existing small RNA data identified both RDR2-sensitive and RDR2-resistant species of 24 nt siRNAs that we hypothesize may at least partially explain the complex changes in the expression of genes and transposons observed in the mop1 mutant.