Diallel mating design was used to generate fifteen single cross hybrids including fifteen reciprocals. The hybrids were evaluated together with their parents and thirteen checks at Samaru, Northern Guinea Savannah, of Nigeria in the years 2005 and 2006. The experimental design used was 7 x 7 incomplete lattice designs with three replications. There were significant differences between the various genotypes for all the fifteen traits observed. There was a highly significant difference in replication within year for the traits; days to tasselling, ash contents and ear height while significant differences were observed for the traits; emergence count, plant height, one thousand grain weight and grain yield. The significant mean squares observed for all the agronomic traits indicates that the genetic variability could be utilized for the improvement of yield and other desirable traits in quality protein maize breeding programs. The combined analysis of variance, the source of variation for entries, was partitioned into hybrids vs. parent’s mean squares which were significant for all traits observed except moisture content. This is a preliminary indication of the presence of heterosis in the single cross hybrids. The observed variabilities could be used to develop suitable hybrids and varieties.
Key words: Quality protein maize, variability, hybrids, performance.