We report the effects of 4-chlorobiphenyl and biphenyl on the physiology, morphology and proteome of the polychlorobiphenyl-degrader Burkholderia xenovorans LB400. The exposure to 4-chlorobiphenyl decreases the growth of LB400 on glucose, and cells exhibit irregular outer membranes, a larger periplasmic space and electron-dense granules in the cytoplasm. Additionally, lysis of cells was observed during incubation with 4-chlorobiphenyl or biphenyl. Proteome of B. xenovorans LB400 exposed to biphenyl and 4-chlorobiphenyl were analysed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Besides induction of the Bph enzymes of biphenyl catabolic pathways, incubation with 4-chlorobiphenyl or biphenyl results in the induction of the molecular chaperones DnaK and GroEL. Induction of these chaperones, which were also induced during heat shock, strongly suggests that exposure to (chloro)biphenyls constitutes stress conditions for LB400. During growth of LB400 on biphenyl, oxidative stress was evidenced by the induction of alkyl hydroperoxide reductase AhpC, which was also induced during exposure to H2O2. 4-chlorobiphenyl and biphenyl induced catechol 1,2-dioxygenase, as well as polypeptides involved in energy production, amino acid metabolism and transport.