To gain a better understanding of brassinosteroid biosynthesis, the levels of brassinosteroids and sterols related to brassinolide biosynthesis in Arabidopsis, pea, and tomato plants were quantified by gas chromatography-selected ion monitoring. In these plants, the late C-6 oxidation pathway was found to be the predominant pathway in the synthesis of castasterone. Furthermore, all these plant species had similar BR profiles, suggesting the presence of common biosynthetic control mechanisms. The especially high levels of 6-deoxocathasterone and 6-deoxocastasterone may indicate that their respective conversions to 6-deoxoteasterone and castasterone are regulated in planta and hence are important rate-limiting steps in brassinosteroid biosynthesis. Other possible rate-limiting reactions, including the conversion of campestanol to 6-deoxocathasteonre. are also discussed. Tomato differs from Arabidopsis and pea in that tomato contains 28-norcastasterone as a biologically active brassinosteroid, and that its putative precursors, cholesterol and its relatives are the major sterols.