The characterization of crystal defects induced by irradiation, such as X-rays, charged particles and neutrons, is important for understanding radiation damage and the associated generation of defects. Radiation damage to protein crystals has been measured using various methods. Until now, these methods have focused on decreased diffraction intensity, volume expansion of unit cells and specific damage to side chains. Here, the direct observation of specific crystal defects, such as dislocations, induced by X-ray irradiation of protein crystals at room temperature is reported. Dislocations are induced even by low absorbed doses of X-ray irradiation. This study revealed that for the same total absorbed dose, the formation of defects appears to critically depend on the dose rate. The relationship between dislocation energy and dose energy was analyzed based on dislocation theory associated with elasticity theory for crystalline materials. This demonstration of the crystal defects induced by X-ray irradiation could help to understand the underlying mechanisms of X-ray-induced radiation damage.