The exosome complex plays a central and essential role in RNA metabolism. However, comprehensive studies of exosome substrates and functional analyses of its subunits are lacking. Here, we demonstrate that as opposed to yeast and metazoans the plant exosome core possesses an unanticipated functional plasticity and present a genome-wide atlas of Arabidopsis exosome targets. Additionally, our study provides evidence for widespread polyadenylation- and exosome-mediated RNA quality control in plants, reveals unexpected aspects of stable structural RNA metabolism, and uncovers numerous novel exosome substrates. These include a select subset of mRNAs, miRNA processing intermediates, and hundreds of noncoding RNAs, the vast majority of which have not been previously described and belong to a layer of the transcriptome that can only be visualized upon inhibition of exosome activity. These first genome-wide maps of exosome substrates will aid in illuminating new fundamental components and regulatory mechanisms of eukaryotic transcriptomes.