The members of the Burkholderia genus are characterized by high versatility and adaptability to various ecological niches. With the availability of the genome sequences of numerous species of Burkholderia, many studies have been conducted to elucidate the unique features of this exceptional group of bacteria. Genomic and metabolic plasticity are common among Burkholderia species, as evidenced by their relatively large multi-replicon genomes that are rich in insertion sequences and genomic islands and contain a high proportion of coding regions. Such unique features could explain their adaptability to various habitats and their versatile lifestyles, which are reflected in a multiplicity of species including free-living rhizospheric bacteria, plant endosymbionts, legume nodulators, and plant pathogens. The phytopathogenic Burkholderia group encompasses several pathogens representing threats to important agriculture crops such as rice. Contrarily, plant-beneficial Burkholderia have also been reported, which have symbiotic and growth-promoting roles. In this review, the taxonomy of Burkholderia is discussed emphasizing the recent updates and the contributions of genomic studies to precise taxonomic positioning. Moreover, genomic and functional studies on Burkholderia are reviewed and insights are provided into the mechanisms underlying the virulence and benevolence of phytopathogenic and plant-beneficial Burkholderia, respectively, on the basis of cutting-edge knowledge.