Although long-distance movement of endogenous mRNAs in plants is well established, the functional contributions of these transported RNA molecules has remained unclear. In a recent report, Kim et al.2001 showed that systemically transported mRNA is capable of causing phenotypic change in developing tissue. Here, this finding and its significance are reviewed and discussed in detail. In addition, in order to give proper perspective, long-distance transport of other types of RNAs, e.g., RNA elicitors of post-transcriptional gene silencing and RNA genomes of plant viruses, and its possible regulation are discussed. BioEssays 23:1087–1090, 2001. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.